The first match of the three-match T20 series between India and Sri Lanka at the Assam Cricket Association Stadium in Barsapara, Guwahati on January 5 was abandoned as a no result due to rain.
A “school-boy error” ensured that the lack of preparation on the part of the host Assam Cricket Association (ACA) was left exposed in front of the world.
Earlier, home team skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field first. Just when the match was about to start, rains came calling. While the covers were removed after the unseasonale rains stopped, it was to the surprise of cricket fans across the world that the pitch was found exposed to the rain waters.
While the ground staff tried their best to make the pitch ready, the umpires decided otherwise after repeated inspections. Hairdryers, steam irons and vacuum cleaners were used on the pitch at Guwahati.
Television commentators termed the fiasco as a “school-boy error” as fans were kept waiting even after the covers came off at around 7:50 pm.
ACA secretary Devajit Saikia said that the match had to be abandoned as the ground couldn’t be readied due to the two spells of ‘heavy shower’ till 9.15 pm. On the issue that the water leaked into the popping crease, Saikia said that he has no idea on that.
“I haven’t spoken yet to the groundsmen or the curator on that part,” Saikia added.
Whereas, the Start Sports visuals clearly depicted the wet pitch and commentators including Akash Chopra, Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman have slammed the organizers for this reason.
The first of the three-match series was supposed to mark the return of Shikhar Dhawan and Jasprit Bumrah after both were out nursing respective injuries.
On a track which was expected to help spinners and make batting difficult, India — sans Rohit Sharma who was rested — left out Ravindra Jadeja as Kohli said they wanted to play Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav as the Sri Lankans have more left handers in the side.
Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga said they were playing three seamers and two spinners with both teams looking to fine tune their skills ahead of the T20 World Cup in October this year.